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October 6, 2003

MORT CRIM: Attitude is what matters

From: Detroit Free Press, MI - Oct 6, 2003


Russell Ruzio has a unique talent other disc jockeys must envy. The disc-spinning host of an Internet radio blues show claims he can instantly tell if a song is going to be a hit.

Does he have a special ear for success? Does he just know instinctively that rare quality of commercial promise when he hears it? Not exactly. With only 1 percent of his hearing intact, Russell Ruzio is hearing-impaired.

He claims vibrations from the loudspeaker are all he needs to determine which songs are going to be big hits and which songs aren't. And super-amplified headphones allow him to do interviews with performers and take phone calls from listeners, just like any other disc jockey.

So far, Ruzio says, he's the world's only deaf disc jockey. But he's hoping to change that by one day starting a broadcasting school specifically for hearing-impaired children.

In addition to the usual stock of broadcasting lessons, I imagine they'll learn something about disabilities and how to overcome them.

What they'll learn is this: The only real disability isn't physical at all. It's a disability of attitude that can affect anyone. It's that little voice that says: 'I can't' and when we listen to that little voice, that's the greatest hearing impairment of all.

Today's thought: Physical disabilities present us with detours, but it's disabilities of attitude that present us with barriers.

MORT CRIM'S Second Thoughts appear Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in the Free Press. Listen to Second Thoughts on WWJ-AM 950 at 6:40, 8:40 and 10:40 a.m. and 12:40 p.m. weekdays or visit .

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